The 2004 death of 23-year-old Alonzo Brooks has been ruled a homicide after federal authorities exhumed the man’s body in pursuit of possible hate crime charges.
Brooks’ body was found in a creek in La Cygne, Kansas after attending a party with friends at a farmhouse, where he was one of three Black men in attendance among 100 others, and they left him there.
“We knew that Alonzo Brooks died under very suspicious circumstances,” Acting U.S. Attorney Duston Slinkard wrote in a press release. “This new examination by a team of the world’s best forensic pathologists and experts establishes it was no accident. Alonzo Brooks was killed. We are doing everything we can, and will spare no resources, to bring those responsible to justice.”
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The case is now focused on uncovering if Brooks was the victim of a racially-motivated killing. The new autopsy focused on injuries to Brooks’ body that the medical examiner has deemed inconsistent with normal patterns of decomposition.
Brooks was missing for over a month before his body was found, partially obscured in a creek, by his father and a family friend during a kin-organized search.
“My God, it was awful,” Billy Brooks Sr. told Dateline in an episode of the online series, Cold Case Spotlight. “To find my boy like that. Nothing can describe that pain.”
The FBI is asking anyone who may have information about the circumstances of Brooks’s death to contact their tip line at (816) 474-TIPS.